Closer to You: Lee [MultiFormat]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Marie Rochelle
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: The ultimate bachelor, Lee Drace never thought there was a woman out there who could stop in his tracks. He only wanted three things out of life: money, power, and more money. He wasn't going to become attached to any woman who wouldn't be staying around that long. Besides, he had never met a woman strong enough to stand up to him until? Cherise Roberts hated that she was attracted to her mouth-watering brother in-law, Lee Drace. He had been nothing but a pain in her side since his brother Zack married her sister, Traci. She tried to stay out of his way as much as possible because she couldn't let him find out her secret. She wanted him like CRAZY!! Will these two be able to overcome each others' tough exteriors to find love? Elements: Interracial (BW/WM)
eBook Publisher: Phaze, Published: 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2008
* * * *
78 Reader Ratings:
Taking her finger, Cherise poked Lee hard in the chest. "You're a liar, Lee Drace," her soft voice rung out in the empty bathroom. "I don't want to be around you unless I have to. Now move out of my way," she snapped, shoving him hard.
Lee knew by the look in her eyes that he had made a mistake with her. "We need to talk about some things."
Sliding off the vanity, Cherise unlocked the door and stormed out in the kitchen just in time to hear the timer go off. Sitting the roast pork with sage and garlic on the counter, she heard Lee come out of the bathroom. She felt his eyes looking at her, but she refused to look at him.
"I'm not giving up on getting that date from you, sweetheart," he whispered before going out the door.
The rest of the night went by without any problems or anymore visits from Lee. Everyone at the party loved the fresh cream of pea soup as a side dish and the main course of the roast pork with sage and garlic went over fantastic. By the end of the night, everyone was enjoying the open bar, while the cleaning crew she hired took care of the last items.
"Ms. Roberts," Amanda Green said, coming in the kitchen with the check in her hand.
"Yes?" Cherise said, putting on her coat as she got ready to leave. She was delighted because her purse was full of numbers of potential new clients.
"I paid you a little more for the wonderful job you did," Amanda commented handing her the check.
Smiling, Cherise slid the check into her pocket. "Thank you. I'm glad everything was to your liking."
"I hope you keep up your business because I might need you for my wedding in the future," Amanda grinned.
Feeling her heart drop to the bottom of her stomach, Cherise asked, "You're getting married?"
"I would love to, if I could ever convince my boyfriend to take that big walk down the aisle."
Cherise pushed down her hurt at the thought of Lee marrying the woman in front of her. It was none of her business. He could do what he wanted with his life. "Well, I wish you luck." Picking up her purse, she walked out of the kitchen and went to the elevator. She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice Lee, standing to the side, looking at her with a watchful expression.
The elevator doors opened and Cherise walked inside ready to get home and take a long hot bubble bath. As the doors were about to shut, a hand reached out and stopped them. Looking at the door, she watched Lee get inside with her. "What in the hell are you doing?" she asked, spinning around to face him as the door slid closed.
Pressing the down button, Lee rested his back against the wall taking in how truly beautiful Cherise was with her tawny eyes and rich brown skin. He still wasn't pleased that she cut most of her hair off, but the new haircut was very attractive. "I thought I would walk my sister-in-law to her car," he said, smiling at her.
Butterflies came into her stomach when Lee flashed her that boyish smile he loved using when he wanted something.
"I can make it to my car just fine without your help," she replied, folding her arms moving slightly away from him.
"Let me be a gentleman for you," he said, easing closer to her.
From the corner of her eyes, Cherise took how hunky her brother-in-law was. She didn't like being in small areas with him because it made the chemistry between them so much harder to deny. "Won't your girlfriend get upset you left without saying goodbye?" Cherise questioned arching her eyebrow.
"Amanda isn't my girlfriend and what I do with my own time is my damn business," he said, brushing her thick hair back from her cheek.
"Stop touching me. You know I've told you that several times," Cherise muttered, as she removed his hand from her face.
"I'm a man that enjoys touching beautiful things," he admitted with a wink.
Laughing, she moved away until her back was pressed to the wall and she could look directly at his face. "You have a way with words that any man would envy," she whispered. "Or should I say empty words?"
Lee's eyes blinked at the sarcastic tone of Cherise's voice. "I mean the words I say to you, darling," he confessed. "I think you are one of the most amazing looking women I have ever seen."
She stared wordlessly at him; he seemed so sincere. However, when Lee wanted something, he knew how to throw on the charm. Shaking her head, Cherise chuckled at him. "Is that the line you used on Amanda that made her fall in love with you?" she inquired. "Do you know that she asked me to caterer her wedding?"
Lee's stiffen as the words came out of her mouth. "Who is she marrying?"
"Why you," she replied, pointing at him with a smirk.
Lee's face paled at the thought of being married to Amanda and hearing all the useless chatter from her and all the people she hung around. "When did she tell you we were getting married?" he asked, truly taken aback.
"When she handed me the extra check for the excellent job I did at the party." Cherise wondered why the elevator was taking so long getting them to the parking lot. She hadn't wanted to be alone in here with him, but it would have rude to walk off when he got on. She couldn't ignore him now, because he was part of the family.
"I'm not getting married to her," Lee reiterated, trying to get her to believe him.
"Hey, you don't have to explain anything to me," Cherise said while searching her purse. Sshe pulled out a calendar and tried to avoid any further conversation with Lee. The less she talked to him, the better.
Flipping through it, Cherise noticed she didn't have another party, which was a theme party, scheduled for weeks. It would give her more than three weeks to plan it. Researching what to serve was going to be a huge part of this catering job, plus it was paying her three times her usual price. She wanted it to be excellent.
Lee noticed how Cherise was trying to pretend he wasn't in the same space with her, but he wasn't going to let her to it. "I thought you had found another job through a person Traci knew at the hospital."
Placing the calendar back in the purse, Cherise gave him a heated look. "Are you checking up on me?" she questioned.
Lee knew he didn't have to right to ask Traci about her, but sometimes he couldn't help it. She drew him faster than any other woman from his past. "Well, you're a part of my family now, so I have to know what's going on it your life," he said trying to find a way out.
Amazed at the thrill that shot through her body, Cherise kept any expressions off her face. She didn't want Lee to know how his words made her feel. He was interested in what was going on her in life, but she didn't let it show on her face.
Why was he talking to Cherise when they were alone in an empty quiet elevator? There were so many other fun things they could be doing with their mouths. Moving swiftly, he pressed Cherise's body to the far corner, covering her mouth swiftly with his.
The kiss was slow and thoughtful, allowing her time to pull back if she wanted to, but he was praying hard that she wouldn't. His tongue explored the recesses of her mouth, tasting the mint and tea from earlier, growling he licked the roof of her mouth. Pulling her body hard to his aroused body, Cherise gasped in his mouth at the feel of his cock poking her in the stomach.
The kiss sent the pit of her stomach into a wild whirlwind resembling a tornado. Giving herself freely to the passion of his kiss, she stood on tiptoe wrapping her arms around Lee's strong shoulders. Feeling her breasts pressed into his chest sent Lee over the edge.
Lifting her up, he laid her down on the elevator floor. "Baby, you feel so damn hot beneath me," he moaned, sliding his hand between Cherise's warm thighs, stroking lightly. The hotness of her skin burned at his long fingers. As he was about to touch her underwear with his fingers, the elevator stopped, shocking both of them.
Jerking Cherise up before the doors opened, he placed her on one side and moved quickly to the other, just as the doors slid open. Luckily, there wasn't anyone waiting to get in or the sexual tension would have eaten the person alive.
Shocked by her behavior, Cherise ran to her car, ignoring Lee as he screamed her name. She got in, slammed the door and took off down the tunnel.
"Shit," Lee cursed as Cherise's headlights faded off. He wondered how in the hell he was going to fix this mess.
* * * *
"You can work as hard as you want, but you aren't going to win this deal," Missy said, coming into Cherise's office and collapsing on the leather couch the next day.
Without looking up, Cherise replied, "Don't you have someone else to bother today or is it my lucky day?"
"Why are you such a bitch?" Missy hissed.
Slowly, Cherise's eyes looked up from the report. "Don't ever call me that again, Missy," she stated in a deadly calm voice.
Sighing, Missy stood up, pulling at her short white skirt that matched her jacket. "I just said what everyone else thinks about you. So, I don't know why you got mad at me." Strutting out the door, she tossed back over her shoulder, "I thought you liked honesty."
"She's trying to mess with your mind," David said, coming to stand in the open doorway. "Yesterday, Missy came into my office saying I wouldn't get the job because looking like the boy next door wouldn't help me."
A smile lit up her face at the only person she could get along with at the office, which surprised her because David wasn't black, but white. Maybe accepting Zack into the family has opened up her mind to more friends than just black ones.
"Close that door and have a seat," she said, gesturing towards the seat in front of her.
Looking out the door to make sure no one else was paying attention, David closed the door and walked over to her. Sitting down on the edge of her desk, he crossed his arms over his chest. "Do you have any idea who we will be working with?"
David didn't like surprises in his business or personal life. He planned everything down to what he was going to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next day. Cherise thought her co-worker was so funny and cute. He had a way of making her laugh.
"I have something for you," she said. Reaching underneath her desk, she pulled out a medium-sized white bag out of the refrigerator she kept there. "I had some extra crab puffs left over along with those pretzels you love so much," she said, handing him the sack.
"I knew I became friends with you for a reason," David laughed. He took the bag from her and stood up. "This is going home with me. I can have it for dinner. Mary is going away on a business trip. You know Mary still wants to fix you up with a guy from her job."
Cherise doubted Mary mentioned the extra weight she was carrying around. "I have told you that I don't have much extra time for dating."
She could tell from the look on David's face he wasn't going to take no for an answer this time. "Sorry, you are not backing out this time, Ms. Roberts," he said. "As soon as Mary gets back in town, we are all going out on a double date."
Glaring at David, Cherise saw no amount of begging was going to make him change his mind. "Well, you have to let me know in head of time, so the date won't be the same time I'm catering a party. I think I have about twelve more to do before the year is out," she said, writing down a note on her desk calendar to double check dates and make phone calls to the clients.
"Are you sure you aren't spreading yourself too thin?" he asked, concerned about his friend, because she had a really bad perfection complex. Everything had to be done a certain way before she gave up and moved on. "Remember, you have to work on the assignment Mr. Cane gave us two days ago."
She already had plans to start working on it tonight at home. Each night she had been making an outline how she was going to do the report, but she doubted the winner would be her. "You know that you're going to win this," she teased David, who was moving toward the door to leave.
"I really don't have time to be working on a new assignment now," he groaned, still mad he had gotten chosen in the first place.
"What? Why not? You love working on stuff like this," she said surprised.
David flashed a grin. "I don't have time to go into it now. But later today, I'll make it back here and tell you about my future plans." He shut the door behind him as he left her office.